The limitations of CRB checks are tragically proven
Horrifying, truly horrifying.
BBC NEWS | England | Nursery worker admits sex abuse
Nursery worker admits sex abuse
Colin Blanchard (L) Vanessa George (C) Angela Allen (R) - Allen courtesy of Raymonds picture agency
The three met over the internet
A Plymouth nursery worker and two other people have pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting children and distributing indecent images.
Vanessa George, Angela Allen, from Nottingham, and Colin Blanchard, from Rochdale, all 39, appeared at Bristol Crown Court, having never met before.
Abuse was recorded on mobile phones and images exchanged via e-mail and text.
One investigating officer said some of the images were so explicit they "truly defied belief".
Detective Superintendent Adrian Pearson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Those three individuals have shared quite willingly and freely images, texts, fantasies of the most serious level you could imagine."
The identities of the children who were abused at George's nursery are unknown.
Wept in court
The public gallery was packed with about 30 parents who wept as the guilty pleas were entered.
One man pointed at Blanchard and was asked to calm himself by the usher. Allen wept as she pleaded guilty while Blanchard showed no reaction and George hung her head in the dock.
The probability I would have to say is very low that we will identify any of these children
Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris
Chilling bond between abusers
The abuse began in September last year and they were arrested in June following a police investigation. Three forces were involved - Devon and Cornwall, Nottinghamshire and Greater Manchester.
They trio admitted to 37 out of 38 counts.
George, who worked at Little Ted's nursery in the Efford area of Plymouth, pleaded guilty to 13 charges including sexual abuse of children and making and distributing indecent images of children.
She pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual assault which was ordered by the judge to lie on file.
Her arrest sparked massive public outrage and angry scenes during earlier court appearances.
Allen, of Nine Acre Gardens, Nottingham, admitted five counts of sexual assault and distributing indecent images of children.
IT worker Blanchard, of Yea Fold, Smallbridge, near Rochdale admitted 19 counts of sexual assault and distributing indecent images of children.
The three are believed to have met on the social networking website, Facebook, and had not met in person.
If I were a parent I would want to know whether my child was abused or not
Judge John Royce
They exchanged thousands of e-mail and text messages between them containing images of child abuse, the court heard.
Blanchard was arrested on 6 June after one of his colleagues found obscene pictures on a work computer.
Examination of his laptop computer led to the arrests of George and Allen.
No-one else is believed to have been involved.
Judge John Royce warned the three abusers they faced substantial prison sentences.
He said the "decent" thing for George to do would be to co-operate with police in identifying all the abuse victims in the photographs.
Speaking to George's lawyer, the judge said: "Your client must know it seems to me who she has abused and who she has not. If I were a parent I would want to know whether my child was abused or not."
Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris, of Devon and Cornwall Police public protection unit, said: "No individual child has been identified from the images, and that's down to the nature of the images themselves.
"Work is ongoing, we've not given up on that but the probability I would have to say is very low that we will identify any of these children."